Our Mandarin teacher brought up the news Japan primeminister Koizumi visited Yasukuni Shrine.
According to him, people are furious in China and saying Koizumi is untrustable(since recently he visited China and warmed up the China-Japan relationship a bit.) I guess they also felt betrayed “Yes, we knew it”. I am not sure Koizumi is trustable or not. We don’t think he wanted to do it – but whatever he thinks, it was a necessary show to keep the old voters and politicians in LDP at his side. What I thought is he is too careless about cleaning up the mess he did. He should have done(or have not) two more things.
One is never to take the feelings of people in China and South Korea lightly.
Koizumi, however, said that each country has its “own history and tradition. I think they (other countries) will understand that.”
This is a red card. Maybe he doesn’t remember he said this comment, but reporters make living for one reason, to catch every little flaw in his words.
The other is to hint (or even declare) the A-list war criminals are exluded from his list of people who “lost their lives even though they did not want to die”.
The second point is very important, since I never was aware that people in China are angry of Yasukuni visit because those A-list criminals are included in the object, until my teacher told me. I admit I was lazy enough not to learn more about the past issues. Our(Japanese) reaction toward the Yasukuni problem used to be “(against China and Korea) Well, we can imagine why you are upset, but isn’t it overreacting? I don’t deny those soldiers did something evil, but they too have suffered from that war. And it’s more than 40 years since then.”
But now I understand the most important point, and I fully support China and Korea’s position. They have every reason to fight against this behaviour. I don’t think we can blame a handful of commanders for that war, but accountability has to be shown somewhere ( everybody in the business world is shouting as such, which is an indication how little they have considered accountability in the past and still they don’t want to). Can the same thing (worship the representatives for atrocity) be approved, it it happened in Germany? I doubt it. Israel and Hollywood movies will hunt them down to the end.
So the Japanese politicians were actually always begging and praying toward the criminals (another word, heroes) and that is exactly why China and Korea were angry about. Nobody took a serious thought on the lower-class soldiers, who obviously had suffered most.
I smell a mild conspiracy. The Japanese media and the politicians never made it clear why these countries are upset, and by telling the surface facts, they have effectively created an air that China and Korea are too much in the victimized mode. While watching TV, as a kid I never heard “why” they were angry and “why” the politicians always go there exactly. The anchor just hinted without expression. For years I have put a distance toward Japanese media and relied on English source (I recently happened to subscribe the Yxxxxxx newspaper for two months. I don’t remember why I did such thing. It took two months to get out of the contract and I never looked into the delivered paper) but it might be the time to take a glance at the Japanese TV and newspapers, to see how information is omitted and invented in a wicked way.
Did the politicians prevented the ordinary citizen know too much because they actuallly respect the soldiers and regard them as sacred? I am sure it’s not the case. They are doing it because it is the best way to save their reputation(it existed before) and relationship. By showing they respect the dead, people at least thought they do care about Japanese. One good thing about today’s seemingly confused society is that the mask is wearing off and everybody is starting to realize the only thing those politics care is saving their ass. Excuse me for the words. After all, today’s old politicians never had any real, miserable experience during the war. They must have been staying quiet in Japan mainland, busy to hide their assets when the war is getting to end. Before they all die, we must ask them this question. “What were you doing during the war?”
I take my words back. Relying on them again by asking info? No way. we just uncover the truth by ourselves, that’s it.